Former Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Executive Appointed To Head U.S. Patent Office

U.S. President, Barack Obama, appointed Michelle Lee to lead the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Monday, when his decision was unanimously accepted by the members of U.S. Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee had already approved her nomination around a week back.

Michelle Lee is a former Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) executive, having worked there as a deputy general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy. Since 2012, she has been working as the acting director of the patents office. The decision comes after almost 2 years since the previous head, David Kappos, a former International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) executive, left the job in February, 2013.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark office is based in Alexandria, Virginia and currently employs more than 12,000 people who work mainly to establish by research as to which inventions truly deserve to being patented.

Lately, the patents agency has drawn a lot of flak on grounds of approving a large number of weak software related patents which are currently being disputed in federal courts. Demands have been raised for patents reform which in turn would reduce the number of cases going for litigation.

According to Robert Stroll, who had worked with the agency for 29 years and was the commissioner of patents from 2009 to 2011, Lee would have to primarily focus on upgrading the standards of patents being approved by the agency. Stroll is presently a partner at the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath in Washington D.C. He also says that improving the quality of patents would in turn reduce the patent troll problem.

Patent troll is a huge cause of concern in U.S. under which the companies try to benefit not from manufacturing the product but from filing patent law suits. Also, a huge number of patents, yet to be examined, have piled up and the figure stands at 602,265 presently as per the agency’s website.

On Monday, Daniel Marti was appointed as the White Houses’ intellectual property enforcement coordinator, also known as “IP Czar”.